NYC Healthcare News

K.U.Leuven researchers receive ERC Advanced Grants

December 29, 2015

Peter Carmeliet intends to use his ERC grant to develop a new strategy. By acquiring better insight into the energy supply of blood vessels, he hopes to find ways to block the blood vessels' metabolism. If this is successful, the blood vessels will no longer respond to the signals emitted by tumours and the tumours will starve to death.

Research Bart De StrooperOver the past few years, many new insights into the causes of genetically hereditary forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been acquired. These hereditary variants, however, occur relatively infrequently. The molecular origins of the most common, non-hereditary forms of Alzheimer's are still largely unknown.

Bart De Strooper intends to use his ERC grant to research the significance of microRNA (miRNA) in the development of the disease. miRNAs are short pieces of nucleotides that influence the expression of messenger-RNA (mRNA) in various ways. Early studies have demonstrated that the formation of such miRNA's is altered in AD patients.

De Strooper wants to identify specific miRNA's that regulate the expression of genes involved in AD, such as those responsible for Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) or beta-secretase. This research may lay the foundation for new techniques to diagnose this devastating disease. It is also intended to result in the identification of novel drug targets. 

Source: European Research Council